A Targeted Approach to Deter Gun Violence
Gun violence endangers everyone. Gun violence devastates families, damages neighborhoods and endangers the community. We’ve had enough. It has to stop now.
What is CU Fresh Start?
CU Fresh Start is a community-led, focused effort to deter gun violence. This approach gives individuals with a history of violent, gun-related behaviors a choice to put down the gun and move in a different direction. If they choose to stop shooting, offenders will receive help to access community services and resources. If they continue to engage in gun violence, they will face swift and certain consequences.
Law Enforcement has worked with community members to identify offenders for the initiative using the following criteria: Age 18 or older, on parole or probation, prior felony arrest, prior gun arrest or a violent crime conviction, and credible information of recent involvement in violent crime.
The “focused deterrence strategy” used in CU Fresh Start has been proven to reduce crime in other cities including Boston, MA, Minneapolis, MN, High Point, NC, and Peoria, IL.
The CU Fresh Start model has three “pillars” which allow the initiative to offer strength and balance in our approach. Each of the three pillars is vital for our efforts to be a success.
This group humanizes the effect of violence. It includes family and friends of offenders, victim impact representatives, clergy and funeral directors, emergency medical personnel, neighborhood leaders and residents, former offenders, and elected officials.
Law Enforcement Pillar
These professionals assist to establish clear criteria to identify offenders, notify offenders of legal consequences of gun violence, and provide a clear opportunity to stop shooting. They then follow up with swift and certain consequences if violence continues.
Efforts focus on making better life choices to provide stability and opportunity. This is coordinated through a caseworker, who works with and assists the offenders in identifying community resources to support better decision-making.
What is a CU Fresh Start Call-in Event?
A call-in is a face-to-face meeting of law enforcement representatives, community members, social service providers, and targeted offenders. Its primary purpose is to deliver a clear message against violence, and to provide a genuine offer of help for those who wish to change their lives. The meeting also serves as a chance for these individuals to learn about police efforts and community resources available. In addition, the meeting provides information which can be conveyed to members of the offenders’ peer group. In this way, focused deterrence can spread even beyond the individuals in a particular call-in meeting. Call-ins are closed to the public to protect the privacy of those involved.